Two new Aer Lingus Regional air links across the Irish Sea to Cardiff are being introduced by operator Stobart Air.

The Welsh capital will be connected with Belfast City airport from June 28 with four flight s a week.

A Dublin service will initially run three times a week on Mondays, Fridays and Sundays from August 30.

The network expansion came as the carrier urged the Irish government to outline a roadmap for the safe resumption of air travel.

Stobart Air also wants to see a “practical vaccine passport policy” put in place to allow people who have received a complete dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to travel within the Ireland-UK Common Travel area to help air travel resume in line with the rollout of vaccination programmes.

The Irish and UK governments should also mutually recognise proof of domestic negative Covid-19 tests rather than require passengers to undertake additional pre-departure PCR tests.

Managing director Andy Jolly said: “Stobart Air continues to call on the Irish government to work with all industry stakeholders to restore confidence in aviation and facilitate the resumption of safe air travel in line with the vaccination rollout programme.

“Airlines need to be able to plan and resource their schedules in advance, so it is critical that the government can outline a roadmap for the resumption of international travel.

“In the immediate term this includes developing a vaccine passport procedure to allow people who have received their complete vaccine course to travel without restriction within the Common Travel Area, and the recognition of evidence of a negative test for Covid-19 provided on the UK NHS app.”

He added: “Anticipating a successful Covid-19 vaccination rollout which will allow air travel to resume safely later this year, we are pleased to add these two new routes from Dublin and Belfast to Cardiff to our network.

“We believe these new connections will cater to both business and leisure travellers with direct, convenient and cost-effective flights between Dublin and Belfast and the Welsh capital.

“We are committed to providing our passengers with frequent, convenient and affordable services through our regional connections.”